About Us

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Indiana, United States
Debt free empty nesters...ready to stretch our wings. Life is good and we plan on making it even better. This blog is mostly about our trips to Vieques Puerto Rico, with a few odds and ends thrown in about our life after the mortgage.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

and the Sun did return......

Been over a week now since we've seen any sunshine, so this mornings rays, peaking up over the eastern skyline,  was a welcome sight. It's return did come with a price though, 5 degree outside temps...yikes! In the last week  we've had blizzard and winter storm warnings, both of which seemed over hyped to me. After it was all said and done we ended up with about 6 inches of snow, not bad considering. The endless gray days do wear on you.
I could tell by the way things looked outside that there was a decent coating of hoar frost on and having been cloistered inside for a number of days I decided to bundle up and take a morning sunrise walk to see it all.

One of the interesting things about a fresh coat of snow is that it records the travels of different wild things that one normally can't see. As I stepped off the front porch I saw how the deer had been busy in our front yard. I followed their meanderings and it lead me to a group of hawthorn trees I planted nearly 17 years ago. When we bought the property we planted over 500 trees that first year, not all hawthorn but all kinds of nut and fruit bearing trees, along with fair share of evergreen. The deer seem to particularly like the hawthorn berries, evidenced by the lack of fruit up to about 6' off the ground. A picture of one of the tree is below:

The rest of the tree is loaded with brilliant red berries which the birds and squirrels will end up finishing off.

The hoarfrost turns our fields into a sea of crystal and catching it in the first mornings light always seems to conjure  up the wonderment we all lose in chasing that ghost we call life.

I took a number of shots but it's so difficult to capture how delicate and amazing the ice crystals are. Delicate in their patterns and also in their lifespan. I knew that within an hour  most of it would be gone, burnt off by the sun we had been so missing. So here's my feeble attempt to capture some  of it:


Another reason for my morning  walk was to make my way over to the cabin to check on the inside temperature. I 've been trying to get the thermostat on the heater figured out. It has low, medium and high marked on the knob, with large spaces between. I've been taking an ink pen to mark different temperatures on the knob in an effort to "fine tune" it. My goal was to keep the place around 50 degrees throughout the winter months.

 Took a shot of the deck when I got over there.
I didn't even go into the cabin. I just peeked in through  the siding glass doors and I could see the inside temperature was 51 degrees, not bad.

In four weeks I should be watching the sunrise in temperatures about 70 degrees warmer, can't wait.



Sunday, December 16, 2012

Why we all love children....

Given the tragedy  that's happened I thought I would be nice to remember  a few of the reasons why we love children so much:

 1. A kindergarten pupil told his teacher he'd found a cat, but it was dead. 'How did you know that the cat was dead?' she asked her pupil. 'Because I pissed in its ear and it didn't move,' answered the child innocently. You did WHAT ? ! ?' the teacher exclaimed in surprise. 'You know,'explained the boy, 'I leaned over and went 'Pssst!' and it didn't move.'

2. A small boy is sent to bed by his father. Five minutes later....'Da-ad....' 'What?' 'I'm thirsty. Can you bring drink of water?' 'No, You had your chance. Lights out..' Five minutes later: 'Da-aaaad.....' 'WHAT?' 'I'm THIRSTY. Can I have a drink of water??' I told you NO! If you ask again, I'll have to spank you!!' Five minutes later......'Daaaa-aaaad.....' 'WHAT!' 'When you come in to spank me, can you bring a drink of water?'

3. An exasperated mother, whose son was always getting into mischief, finally asked him 'How do you expect to get into Heaven?' The boy thought it over and said, 'Well, I'll run in and out and in and out and keep slamming the door until St. Peter says, 'For Heaven's sake, Dylan, come in or stay out!''

4. One summer evening during a violent thunderstorm a mother was tucking her son into bed. She was about to turn off the light when he asked with a tremor in his voice, 'Mommy, will you sleep with me tonight?' The mother smiled and gave him a reassuring hug. 'I can't dear,' she said. 'I have to sleep in Daddy's room' A long silence was broken at last by his shaky little voice: 'The big sissy'

5. It was that time, during the Sunday morning service, for the children's sermon. All the children were invited to come forward. One little girl was wearing a particularly pretty dress and, as she sat down, the pastor leaned over and said, 'That is a very pretty dress. Is it your Easter Dress?' The little girl replied, directly into the pastor's clip-on microphone, 'Yes, and my Mom says it's a bitch to iron.'

6 When I was six months pregnant with my third child, my three year old came into the room when I was just getting ready to get into the shower. She said, 'Mommy, you are getting fat!' I replied, 'Yes, honey, remember Mommy has a baby growing in her tummy.' 'I know,' she replied, but what's growing in your butt?'

7 A little boy was doing his math homework. He said to himself, 'Two plus five, that son of a bitch is seven. Three plus six, that son of a bitch is nine....' His mother heard what he was saying and gasped, 'What are you doing?' The little boy answered, 'I'm doing my math homework, Mom.' 'And this is how your teacher taught you to do it?' the mother asked. 'Yes,' he answered. Infuriated, the mother asked the teacher the next day, 'What are you teaching my son in math?' The teacher replied, 'Right now, we are learning addition.' The mother asked, 'And are you teaching them to say two plus two, that son of a bitch is four?' After the teacher stopped laughing, she answered, 'What I taught them was, two plus two, THE SUM OF WHICH, is four.'

8. One day the first grade teacher was reading the story of Chicken Little to her class. She came to the part of the story where Chicken Little tried to warn the farmer. She read, '.... And so Chicken Little went up to the farmer and said, 'The sky is falling, the sky is falling!' The teacher paused then asked the class, 'And what do you think that farmer said?' One little girl raised her hand and said, 'I think he said: 'Holy Shit! A talking chicken!'' The teacher was unable to teach for the next 10 minutes.

9. A certain little girl, when asked her name, would reply, 'I'm Mr. Sugarbrown's daughter.' Her mother told her this was wrong, she must say, 'I'm Jane Sugarbrown.' The Vicar spoke to her in Sunday School, and said, 'Aren't you Mr. Sugarbrown's daughter?' She replied, 'I thought I was, but mother says I'm not.'

10 A little girl asked her mother, 'Can I go outside and play with the boys?' Her mother replied, 'No, you can't play with the boys, they're too rough.' The little girl thought about it for a few moments and asked, 'If I can find a smooth one, can I play with him?'

11. A little girl goes to the barber shop with her father. She stands next to the barber chair, while her dad gets his hair cut, eating a snack cake The barber says to her, 'Sweetheart, you're gonna get hair on your Twinkie.' She says, 'Yes, I know, and I'm gonna get boobs too.'

Now keep that smile on your face !!


Saturday, December 8, 2012

Unintended consequences, part 2.....

We had noticed a few days ago that one of the propane cylinders at the cabin had run out. I decided to take the cylinder to get it filled up this afternoon. When I made my way back to the cabin, cylinder in tow via a dolly, I noticed something on the front deck that I hated to see. It was a male cardinal, laying dead in nearly the same place I had found a female tanger late this summer:

I hate the fact that this happened and it bothers me even more that this is the second time in as little as 4 months. I know it has to do with all the windows in the cabin and the vistas we tried to create. It never dawned on us that we could harm the birds we love so much in the process, they are such magnificent little things. I had even thought of putting a feeder out near the cabin, after tonight I know that would not be a good idea.

There has to be a way to avoid or at least mitigate this from happening in the future.


Wet Suits....

There's a current thread on the Trip Advisor board about water temps and if December water is warm enough to swim. We had noticed the water temperature dropping when we were there this past November, experiencing a considerable change in the two week stay. Maybe this had something to do with Sandy since it had passed, albeit to the west, just prior to our arrival. At any rate we do know there's a  difference in the water temps from Nov to Feb and that brings us to the point of this post.

We've just received our wet suits we ordered from Amazon. After reading about what suit is right for each activity and water temp we decided on what is called "shorty" suits. The last few years we've noticed the need, in Feb,  to wear our rash guards when  doing  long extended snorkel excursions. I'm sure many from the east coast would say "what a bunch of sissy's", seeing how Vieques averages  80 degree water in Feb, but for us it just makes things much more comfortable. What we've gleaned from our limited wet suit purchases is that you need to order a larger size than what you think would fit. I've had to send mine back for the next larger size. Lorries was a full 2 sizes larger than what she would normally wear in pants. Mine fit fine in the legs but was way too small in the chest and arms. One of the beautiful things about Amazon  though is it's return policy. Just print out the return sheet, put it in the box and leave the package outside your door. The UPS guy picks it up the next day with a prepaid label. Just about as painless as it gets.
Gray weather and cold temps here in Indiana make us more than ready for the next 8 weeks to pass so we can get back to Vieques.  

Friday, November 16, 2012

Carpe diem.....

Seize the day, the last day, that was our mantra . We decided to end our visit in the place we started two weeks ago, La Plata. We arrived at the beach at 9am, it was empty..of course. First order of business for me was to make a new sign. The other one, "just another hut", was back out our house destined for another hut in the midwest (we liked that one so much were gonna hang it in our little cabin back home). So...with driftwood in hand and tasked with ginning up a new shingle to hang out front I began:

After a rather lengthy discussion we decided on the popular translation for our days motto (we were actually having a problem deciding if diem was ie or ei ,so we opted for the translation).
So...new up and hanging it was time for yoga and a swim over  to the gallery.  By this time only one other couple had showed up on the beach. The swim wasn't bad, we've really gotten a lot better in the last two weeks. We took extra time doing our curator duties, knowing full well that the gallery would be left to others after today. Surprisingly very few pieces were knocked over. On the way back I picked up a few pieces of trash that I had missed last week. Upon beginning the trash duty I quickly realized that I was gonna need a trash bag. So back to the cabana it was to get one. I returned to the gallery side of the beach and did a thorough cleaning. We can honestly say that La Plata looks much, much better than when we arrived two weeks ago.

Part of our beach time involves people watching, it's a natural offshoot of spending a lot of time sitting in beach chairs. Lorrie and I were watching these two couples to the right (south) of our place. The girls in the party were sitting in chairs reading and the guys were busy gathering sticks and rope. I told Lorrie that I think they're gonna build a cabana, lets watch. I could tell that they didn't really have large enough branches, nor enough of them. Didn't take long until I took pity and brought over my stash of rope. Then I gave them the few nice pieces of bamboo I had cached near our place. Then finally I turned them onto where to find some really nice fallen palm fronds. All in all they did a decent job for the limited amount of time they had.  For some reason the girls didn't seem that  impressed.

We got to talking to them and found out they were two newly-wed couples on their honeymoons and they hadn't met before hooking up at the W. Really kewl and also made Lorrie and I feel like  dinosaurs. They did ask if we had any advice. Lorrie said "well, after being together for 32 years I think you had better do things together, otherwise what's the point of being married?" Pretty smart cookie I have for a wife.  Their names  are Ryan and Madeline from New York and David and Chelsea from New Jersey.  We wished them the very best on their new journeys.  I have one shot of Lorrie talking with Ryan and Chelsea:

Rest of the day was just spent taking it all in.. Still seemed impossible that two weeks had gone by so very fast. Before we knew it La Plata was back to the way we greeted it this morning, just us and the ocean.

Didn't take Lorrie long to get things set up to watch the day come to a close.

I quickly manufactured another stand for our MP3 player, we needed our music playing in front of us for our final hour.  So we sat there, closing the day out as we've done for the last two weeks. Freddie Mercury was singing Bohemian Rhapsody, the scotch and coconut water was perfect and Lorrie and I were intent on  grabbing every last molecule of light that the day would give us.

I think it was 6:05 when we finally started picking things up. I had went to the garbage can to dispose of that last of the trash. While I was away someone walked up on Lorrie, naked I might add..she was changing. It was a female fish and wildlife person and they told her that the beaches were closing @ 6:30. Scared the sheit out of Lorrie...we both got a laugh.

Was it great, yes. Will we miss it, yes. The only saving grace is that we'll be back in 10 weeks to do it all over again.

Did I ever tell you that I love this place.


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Chillin on Chiva....

Yesterday afternoon and all day today was spent on Playa Chiva. Yesterday we met with a realtor about a property we're interested in. That's  the reason we haven't posted in the last couple of days, there's a ton of soul searching going on.  So many questions that  your mind just spins. Anyway...that's in the works..we don't know how it's gonna turn out.

We went to Playa Chiva yesterday because it was nearly 2pm before we were done with the realtor and also meeting with a contractor. We went to turnout #9 because we just figured #10 would be full. Well as it turns out there were only 6 people total on Playa Chiva yesterday afternoon. Today we saw a total of 9 people. The place was deserted, more like the Novembers we remember. This morning we went to turnout #10, getting there at about 9am. It was one of those perfect days on Playa Chiva. Surf was calm, sun was out most all of the day, very few people.  We camped out under the little palm that's near the water to the west of turnout #10 (if you've been there you know what I'm talking about.). I have a picture of it above.  Below is a picture of the crowds we had to deal with today:

Lorrie did some snorkeling, I opted out, preferring to sit on the beach and split the atom regarding
buying the house and everything connected with that decision. Clarity was great for Lorrie and she saw lots of fish. No turtles this time, but it didn't matter.

  I've come to the conclusion that women are better at floating in the ocean than men. Try as Lorrie might I'm just not as adept at floating as she is, plus I watched another couple today and the same thing happened. She tried to get him to do it and he had the same problems I had. Here's a picture, below, of a pro floating. I really think she could do it for hours if she wanted (it's Lorrie.)

We stayed at La Chiva until nearly 6pm, closing it out in our normal fashion. I know I keep referring to those intangible things you experience at times like this and once again that's what transpired. It's really  meditative watching the waves break and feeling the breeze.  I'm reminded of something Thoreau wrote  " This is a delicious evening, when the whole body is one sense, and imbibes delight through every pore. I go and come with a strange liberty in Nature, a part of herself."

Tomorrow is our last day. How in the world did two weeks go so fast?



Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Garcia Beach day....

As I indicated yesterday, Lorrie and I were heading to Garcia beach for the day. Knowing full well about the little hike to get back to it we condensed our gear as much as possible. Having beach chairs that double as back packs are invaluable on little treks like this. We got to the gate where you park about 9am. To say it was buggy is and understatement. The air was so thick and the mosquito's out in mass. We managed through it and made it back to the beach (it's only like a 15 minute walk).  Garcia beach looked great. Not a lot of seaweed, and of course not another soul. I did notice right off all the garbage laying along the beach. Sandy sure must have kicked up some waves on Vieques.  I planned on doing some cleanup, but first it was time to build a new cabana. Lorrie took some shots along the way. All the material were found on the beach. Nothing...was cut, it was all fallen or washed ashore deadwood.

How is it that these pieces of rope can get so tangled up in the ocean.
How bout this find. I'm thinking I can use this on the roof and then lay the palm fronds on top.

While I was building the cabana Lorrie was sitting in one of the beach chairs reading (that's what she's supposed to do and  it works out perfectly) some kind of bug landed on her. Let me tell you  that girl can jump when she has a mind to. We got a picture of the bug, it was huge:
After all that work I was ready for a break and something to drink. I told Lorrie about all the land crabs I saw back under the palm trees. I also saw some nice green coconuts that had fallen. Lorrie went with me back in the thick of it. She was behind the camera:

After some coconut water it was time for me to get busy cleaning up  the trash on the beach. We only brought 4 big trash bags with us.  We had  bought a new box for beach cleanup and this was the last of them, the rest had been used on La Plata. I ended up making a sled out of the rest of the netting and dragging the trash down to the barrels.  We have video of the process:

We stayed on Garcia until 4pm, sat through a couple rains. It didn't matter though we where high and dry in our new hut.
We have no idea where we're headed tomorrow.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Be careful what you wish for.....

Ah...wasn't it just yesterday I was reflecting on how nice it would be for everyone to share our perfect day on La Plata. Looks like a few people heard me. We had at one point 23 people on La Plata, literally wall to wall people.  Ok...maybe I'm pushing the envelope a bit, but stay with me on this.

A funny thing happened while I was wading in the water over to the rock gallery. I passed a fellow heading back to shore and  he commented on  how beautiful it all was. I replied "yep...it's perfect." Then he said "Except for the crowd".   Well that was the green light for me and I went on to say this was strange and we didn't know if it had something to do with the Travel and Leisure award or just what was going on. I went on further to say that this was more Feb. crowd. He looked at me kinda strange and said "geez man ...I was just kidding." Well I guess  it all depends on your perspective doesn't it.  I can hear Judy and Andre now "Curt you need to stop blogging about this beach". They even threatened to start an anti-La Plata blog to counter mine.  I miss those two.


We decided to leave La Plata early, like 2:30. The crowd was just too much for Lorrie, I was partially to blame too (maybe more). I mentioned that we should drive over to La Chiva, we've not been to any other beaches yet. She agreed. Off to La Chiva we  went and counted 19 cars at the turnouts on the way out (and that was without pulling into turnout 10.)  Nope...no La  Chiva today.

How about Pata Prieta, I ask? What the heck, let's give it a try. 9 cars packed into that little parking spot at the very bottom. The road was really, really washed out down to it and there were two rental "cars" down there. Wow...brave souls.

At this point we were too deep into it and just had to go to Caracus to see what kind of crowd was there. 49 CARS we counted:

Not quite a mad house but lots of people...man oh man, lots of people. We ended the tally by going to the entrance to the lane that heads back to Garcia. I expected a dozen cars at least. There was one. Ha...we're heading to Garcia tomorrow.  I wonder if the holiday had anything to do all the people?

So here we are. It's about 2:45 and we don't know where we are we headed. I ask Lorrie what she wanted to do? Head to Esperanza, maybe out to Playa Grande? Believe it or not she said she was kinda beached out for the day (that's something you don't hear very often from her, but we did get to the beach at 9am today). How about driving around and looking for houses, she asks? I agreed and that's what we did.  We decided to head up to Monte Carmello, again, and look around. We ended up doing  much better this time, recognizing some landmarks to get our bearings. We stopped for a moment at what others have called "the Castle". I took a couple shots:

 Stunning views from up there, you can see forever. We did end up finding one house that we had looked at on-line, as has been the case when you get up close and personal they look a whole lot different. We're slowly finding these places and learning the island, guess that's really the point of the whole exercise.  After some unsuccessful house hunting we headed into Isabel to get gas. I had 1/4 tank left so it was well past time. I got some video of it:

With a full tank of gas we both decided to head back to our casa and just take it easy and by the looks of the clouds out to the east we probably made a good decision to leave early cause it looked like rain.   We got in  just in time to beat the rain and see another rainbow...how about that. I got video of it and  you can also see the views with  some of the veranda of the place we're staying at now:

Not a bad way to end the day. We have an appointment with a realtor on Tuesday to look at a place were interested in. Wish us luck.



Saturday, November 10, 2012

Perfect day....

So I'm sitting here thinking how do I convey how perfect the day was? How do I quantify in some meaningful way what we experienced? I don't know how to do it. I tried taking some pictures, but it's the same things you've seen before.  How do share the perfect temperature of the trade winds or the soothing cadence of the waves breaking. The perfect texture of the sand as the ocean wipes away  the days activities. We sat there drinking a bottle of Merlot (no scotch tonight) in awe of it all, closing out the day as we've done for the last week. For us, it never grows old and you don't want it to end, each and every day. We didn't leave  La Plata until 6pm, the latest yet. We arrived @ 10am. 8 hours that seemed like mere minutes.  It was so beautiful that I wish each and every one of you could be there, just to experience it with us. Thoreau wrote about   "living deep and sucking  out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms.”  In some ways that's what we're doing here. We pack up the basic essentials for the day and head out. Maybe it's because we feel so close to what is living when we're on the beaches of Vieques. , it's not someone else's idea of what paradise is, it's ours. I don't know...but it was a perfect day.

see ya tomorrow


Friday, November 9, 2012

Lost in Villa Borinquen, again....

Today Lorrie and I decided to take a drive around to look at houses instead of heading to the beach first thing. What we ended up doing was getting lost in Villa Borinquen, for the second time. We did find Casita Seaglass on this latest trek, but my gosh is it easy to get turned around out there, then you hit these roads that just stop and there's hardly anywhere to turn around. We saw some real stunners of houses being built way the heck out in BFE. That I found strange, these really nice homes with next to no road and houses right next door that looked more like salvage lots then residences. I should have taken some pictures, but quite honestly I was all "white-knuckled" driving out there. . Our jeep has this clicking sound on the right front wheel, I think it might have to do with the brake it doesn't sound like a bearing to me. Anyway...we were heading up this nearly vertical road and I needed to put it into 4WD. When I did the decibel level of the clicking sound went vertical too. Lorrie immediately say "STOP, something's wrong...I'll look at it!" So I ask her "and what are you going to look at?"  She can't answer and just says she's going to look at it.  I tell her it'll be ok...it's just the steepness (which I had no idea at all what the heck was wrong cause it was loud). When we finally summit  Everest I put the jeep back into 2WD and things quieted back down to it's normal cadence. What I think we learned from this second trip out there is that it's not for us. I don't think I would want to deal with those crazy roads on a regular basis.

There was a house in Lujan that we wanted to try and find. What we ended up finding was the very top of a monster hill. Those houses up there have spectacular views. The jeep was groaning like never before so we decided to just head to Sol Food and grab some lunch, since we were in the neighborhood. I had a Bob Marley and Lorrie had the pulled pork. That's some good stuff...gawd is it ever.

By now it's after noon and we finally head out to the refuge beaches. Our destination is La Plata but we detour to Escondida to see what it looks like. Well...what it looked like was yuk. There was so much seaweed/grass built up on the beach that really..there was no beach and it kinda had an odor to it.  There was another car that had come down behind us. They were unloading and heading to the water. We pulled next to them as we were leaving and told them about all the seaweed on the beach. We also told them about La Plata and that we thought they would like it much better.

When we got to La Plata there was on one vehicle and they were in the hut, can't say I blame them. It's a nice hut!. When I walked by they asked if I would take a picture of them in the hut. I told them sure..especially since I built it. We had a conversation after that about how much the liked it and of course the survivor comparison came up again. They even ask if we wanted to stay in it. I told them heck no, it'll motivate me to build another. Which it did:

Our neighbors to the south couldn't believe how fast I put it up. They too made the Survivor reference (jeez...you would think that Survivor invented the palm frond hut). I ask Lorrie how long  it took me to make it. She said about 30 minutes. Wow...I couldn't believe I got it done that fast. It too has a little holder for our MP3 player. Lorrie and I just hung out and took it all in. Weather had been perfect all day. Water was really calm on today and warm. Getting such a late start meant that it didn't last very long. Before we knew it that time had arrived:
I had mine in a coconut I had opened. I drank about half the water, added a little ice, then finally a nice shot of scotch:
I took some video of us enjoying the a late afternoon on La Plata:

One thing happened today that assured us we've arrived. Lorrie ask me what day it was...I hesitated and had to think for a moment. See ya tomorrow...I still have shopping video I need to edit.


Thursday, November 8, 2012

Happy Birthday....

Today was Lorrie's birthday, we've been celebrating it here on the island for the last few years. I put together a video for her, mostly pictures from our trips to Vieques:

Today was a perfect day. Weather was great, we had La Plata TO OURSELVES most all day. Went to look at a house late this evening (yes...a house!) We got in late so I don't have a lot of time to upload a long post.

Just wanted to say a happy birthday to my wife...


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Staying power....

No this blog entry isn't going to be an ad for Viagra or the like. Nope, I'm talking about being hard core beach goers and hanging out, through the rain and wind, when everyone else leaves. Sometimes you get to see things the crowds never do, besides...you have the whole place to yourselves.
But I'm getting ahead of myself....
We slept great last night and woke up early. Had coffee and the last of our fruit, which reminded us that the farmers market was open today. So..we headed out to the farmers market before going  to the beach.  Spent $27 and bought papaya, bananas, blueberries, raspberries, onions, yellow peppers, red peppers, apples, pears. I   did  forget to film the market..oops. We'll get some video of it next week (it's so nice to be able to say  "next week").  Finally got to La Plata around 10am and  weren't the first ones, but still were able to secure our cabana. We saw Jorges trailer parked down the way and figured he was out on a morning sail.
  After setting things up I had to do some repairs on our cooler, it has no handle and is awkward to carry. I remembered seeing a large piece of rope over on the far beach, it would make for a great handle.  Didn't take long get it fixed up.  Here's a picture of it now:

Told ya it was a large piece of rope. After my DYI project we started our morning yoga. Lorrie seems to be lengthening the routine each day. My downward dawgs and cobblers poses are starting to come together although under physical protest. After yoga it was a swim over to the gallery and once again we're both slowly improving on the swim. Each time we complete the yoga and the swim I'm amazed at how Judy and Andre breeze thru it each and every morning. Simply amazing for 75 yr olds. After the swim I had to get something to eat and  one of the pears we bought at the farmers market this morning hit the spot. Next  it was onto  DYI project #2, a stand/holder for our MP3/radio. We've decided to bring some music with us to the beach. I wasn't really sure how I was going to make it. I wanted the radio high enough  and out in front of us but didn't want to have to tie and untie it multiple times. That meant I was going to have to attach it to one of the support poles of the cabana somehow? I was scavenging around through a pile of debris on the beach when I found a nice piece of bamboo. Hah...I knew what I was going to do. Here's a shot of what I came up with:
  After the projects were done I decided to head out to snorkel for a bit. Lorrie opted to just hang out and read. I went around the south side of La Plata almost all the way to Escondida. Saw the regulars on the reefs. The only thing unusual were all the jellyfish and there  were a lot of them, of all sizes too. Sometimes they were bunched up in groups. I guess I was out for about an hour or so. When I finished some darker clouds were forming out to sea and it wasn't long before a light rain started.  The first rain didn't last long but the second one really cleared the beach. Lorrie and I huddled under our little cabana and waited it out, knowing that it probably wouldn't last too long. When it finally stopped Lorrie looked around and said "The beach is OURS!"  and it was now late enough in the afternoon that we really didn't expect anyone else to show up.

 One of the things we've been doing this trip, when we finally get the place to ourselves, is pour a glass of scotch,  sit facing the setting sun and just take it all in, scotch included. I guess you could say it's a kind of evening meditation. We were just sitting there, enjoying our scotch and listening to the radio when we noticed a rainbow forming off to the east. I have video of when we first noticed it, check out Lorrie getting into the tunes:

To say that experiencing the rainbow was magical still doesn't do the event justice. It was simply amazing. Maybe partly do to  the scotch, but  really I don't think so and the video bears that out. Just when I think the novelty of Vieques might wear off we are part of something like this. We watched the rainbow for almost an hour.  Needless to say Lorrie and I are having another great trip. I have a video of the rainbow and it arcing over to almost 3/4's of full. It was so bright it didn't look real:

more shopping video tomorrow

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Invasion of the moonies....

Got up this morning, had coffee and fruit, headed out to La Plata around 9:30. We weren't the first ones there but our cabana was empty. Got things set up and began our morning yoga. After the yoga we took a swim over to the gallery (amazing just how easy Judy and Andre make the swim each morning. Lorrie and I are still struggling). I took some pictures of the pieces we have in place so far:

This particular rock below I found out  in the water. It was the same one Andre and I dug up out of the water in Feb. Andre really liked it and thought it looked like and angry snarl.

Yeah...I know, enough of the rock balancing. I have people ask me "why do you do that?" I like to answer this way "Rather that ask why, ask why not!"  Most don't get it, especially if they ask that question, so we just smile and go on.
Today was a designated clean up day on La Plata. Sandy had washed up so much garbage that Lorrie and I just couldn't stand it any more. The place is looking much better after today. Lorrie took a picture of me with one of my loads, headed to the blue trashcans:
Around 1pm  a familiar site rolled up onto La Plata, Jorge from Littleboat Sailing  He was taking a group out for an afternoon sail

We grabbed some video as the group headed out:

Now to address the title of this post. It was when we were filming Jorge heading out  that we noticed some jellyfish, actually we noticed quite a few of them. Small ones, no bigger than a quarter, to ones about 6 inches across. I was unable to get video of them, but here's what I'm fairly certain they were:

Moon jellyfish. According to what I've read their sting is rather mild, somewhat like the nettles that grow back home. Lorrie and both touched the top of it, felt like wet leather. This was the first time we've seen jellyfish on the beach waters in Vieques.
Later in the afternoon a couple showed up with two dogs. One was a basset hound and the other was a black lab. They both loved the water. Lorrie got some video of the two of them playing with their owners:

It was 5:30 when we left La Plata, last ones there.

Monday, November 5, 2012

from Roundup Ultra to The Glenlivet

We've finished our first video installment for provision procurement on Vieques (that was suppose to be the theme for this trip.) Our reason  for doing this is because of all the questions new visitors to Vieques have regarding getting food and if it's better to bring stuff over from the main island. I really was amazed at just what all we found at the Morales in Isabel. We plan on filming the walk-in frozen/refrigerated section at the Morales on 200 later this trip.  We spent $210 at Morales, but we bought a bottle of scotch, bottle of gin  and two six packs of beer (Stella Artois and Sapporo). We've now got enough to get us at least past the elections (cause everything will  be shut down tomorrow). Anyway..here's the video:

We left our Hilltop apartment this morning about 9:00am. We were the first ones on La Plata, our newest cabana standing by to greet us good morning. First order of business was some liquid bandage for my finger. I planned on doing some snorkeling today. Here's how I got the job done (courtesy of Morales):

and here's our new first aid kit:

After I got my finger all stitched up Lorrie and I did our morning yoga (gawd I was stiff) and then we took a swim out to the rock gallery. We used our new swimming goggles we had bought for this trip and they worked out great.  Lutz and Zoey along with Tess and Ellen showed up not long after we finished our morning swim. All told we saw 12 people on La Plata today. I went out to snorkel one time and  I saw a type of angel fish that I had never seen before on Vieques. It was dark purple with bright orange stripes. Saw some squirrel fish and the rest of the regular reef dwellers. Oh...our new snorkel masks worked great too.

We stayed at La Plata until 5pm, first ones to arrive and the last to leave. When we got back to Hilltop we had this sunset waiting for us. Wonderful day...perfect.